There is nothing to be ashamed of – The Boberek family
Katarzyna and Grzegorz Boberek lived in Wola Żydowska (now Kije municipality) during the Second World War. They had eight children. The oldest daughter was sent to forced labour in the Third Reich. It was in 1943 the Bobereks neighbours and good friends knocked on the door of their house. These were Abraham, Haskiel, Hershel and Icek Goldlist. From all household members, the oldest daughter was the only one not involved in helping Jewish friends.
I’m so hungry … please help us – said one of them when the Boberks opened the door. They were deeply touched and therefore agreed to offer a shelter to the JEws – recollects Dariusz Stachaczyk, the Bobereks’ grandson.
A hiding place was dug under the barn. The cavity was covered with straw. At nights, those in hiding could go out from their pit and go to the shed. When someone decided to offer help, they also tried to support these people somehow – adds Dariusz Stachaczyk. Extra food, waste removal and washing clothes at least once a month needed to be taken care of. Children would carry food in baskets for those in the hiding. They also needed to be very careful so that nobody could catch them red-handed. That was the village was a quite dense housing development.
Mom was very fond of Heniek, one of those in the hiding – adds Dariusz Stachaczyk. Władysława Boberek was born in 1934, although very young, she knew that Jews were hidden in the farm. She also knew what was the menance for rendering this type of help. However, she would say that she’d rather be killed than reveal a secret.
At the end of the war, a German officer was also accommodated at the Boberks’ farm. All had to be extra careful from then on. On the one hand, his presence was a threat. On the other, it was also a protection for those in the hiding and those who offered a shelter. The officer did not suspect that the Jews might be hiding on the farm. When some other German soldier wanted to search through the farm, the officer asked him to leave. It was easy to communicate with the officer because both Katarzyna and Grzegorz Boberks knew German from the partitions times.
Fortunately, the Jews were able to last it out till the end of the war in the hiding at the Bobereks’. However, the end of the war did not put an end to the fear. Grzegorz Boberek told those the hiding, when they were leaving : you are free to go, children, however do not tell anyone where you were.
In the 1980s of the twentieth century the Goldlists, who shortly after the war had left Poland visited the Boberks. Katarzyna Boberek was still alive then. Grandma went out to meet them … as they were hugging each other … there were tears, joy, happiness … – years after Dariusz Stachaczyk recalls the meeting.
Katarzyna and Grzegorz Boberkow in 1993 were posthumously awarded the Righteous Among the Nations title.